KPU launches new lecture series for Black History Month

Mon, Jan 29, 2018

A new Black History Month speaker series highlights research being doing in B.C. on issues that relate to the black community.

February is Black History Month in Canada, and although it is not as big an event in B.C. as it is elsewhere in world, Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) philosophy instructor and lecture series organizer Dr. Leland Harper points out that there is still a tremendous amount of quality work and research being done locally on issues that relate to the black community.

“From philosophers to sociologists, and painters to poets, there are a variety of ways that people are looking at and working on issues relating to the black community,” said Harper. “Don’t think that you can’t make a political change just because you don’t have a background in political science, or that you can’t contribute to discussions of racial equality because you are a middle-class white person or speak up for women’s rights because you are a man. I want our students to know that each person has the ability to make a positive difference using their own unique set of skills.”

The new speaker series features five talks to be given throughout February on KPU’s Surrey campus by both KPU experts and guest lecturers. The first two talks will be given back-to-back on Feb. 1 by Harper on the foundations of Black solidarity, and White Rock artist Carling Jackson on art as a catalyst for social change and racial equality.

“What I hope to achieve through these talks is to expose our KPU students to some of the issues that are relevant to the black community and, with our student-body being largely racial minorities, possibly relevant to their own communities,” said Harper.

KPU's Dean of the Faculty of Arts Dr. Diane Purvey added, “Leland’s timely speaker series not only highlights, but recognizes the important contributions Black British Columbians have made to our province. It's exciting for our faculty and our students to have his passion and dedication mobilizing social change right here at KPU.”

The speaker series is free and open to the public. All talks will be held at KPU’s Surrey campus (12666 72 Ave.) For more information, visit the KPU library guides history spotlight.

Black History Month Speakers Series:

Art as a Catalyst for Social Change and Racial Equality
Carline Jackson, artist/social activist

Understanding the Foundations of Black Solidarity

Dr. Leland Harper, KPU philosophy instructor

Feb. 1, 1 p.m.

Room 1205, Cedar building, KPU Surrey campus

A Subaltern De-Construction of “Blackness” in Iranian School Textbooks:
Racialized depictions of Black others in Iran, Asia, Africa, and the Americas 
Dr. Amir Mirfakhraie, KPU sociology instructor

Feb. 7, 1:30 p.m.

Room 1205, Cedar building, KPU Surrey campus

Diversity and Affect 

Wayde Compton, author and SFU Continuing Studies program director of creative writing

Feb. 23, 11:30 a.m.

Room 128, Fir building, KPU Surrey campus

Who gets to decide what words mean? 
History, Intent, and Meaning in Sports Teams Names

Dr. Holly Andersen, SFU associate professor, philosophy department

Feb. 28, 1:30 p.m.

Room 2005, Cedar building, KPU Surrey campus

Story by Tatiana Tomljanovic